The Senate on Monday failed to end debate on legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, making it likely that a final vote on the measure won't take place until next week.
In a 53-39 vote, the Senate fell six votes short of the 60 needed to end debate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden says he's open to altering, eliminating filibuster to advance voting rights Pelosi says GOP senators 'voted to aid and abet' voter suppression for blocking revised elections bill Manchin insists he hasn't threatened to leave Democrats MORE (R-Ky.) switched his vote from yes to no, a procedural move that allows him to bring up the motion again.
The tally fell short because several Democrats who support building the pipeline voted to continue the debate. A number of GOP senators also missed the vote because of their travel plans.
"Today Democrats reaffirmed we wanted to continue that process and we are not going to let McConnell shut the process down," Sen. Charles SchumerChuck SchumerManchin meeting with Biden, Schumer in Delaware Progressives' optimism for large reforms dwindles Democratic frustration with Sinema rises MORE (D-N.Y.) told reporters after the vote.
"We don't want Sen. McConnell especially after all the hop-de-do about an open process, open amendments, to shut it down at his whim. We are not ready to do that yet, there are more amendments pending," Schumer said.
Four Democrats voted to end the debate: Sens. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinAngus King: Losing climate provisions in reconciliation bill weakens Biden's hands in Glasgow Independent senator: 'Talking filibuster' or 'alternative' an option Rep. Khanna expresses frustration about Sinema MORE (W.Va.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampWashington's oldest contact sport: Lobbyists scrum to dilute or kill Democrats' tax bill Progressives prepare to launch counterattack in tax fight Business groups aim to divide Democrats on .5T spending bill MORE (N.D.), Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetBuilding back better by investing in workers and communities Biden signs bill to help victims of 'Havana syndrome' Colorado remap plan creates new competitive district MORE (Colo.) and Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyBiden to have audience with pope, attend G20 summit Biden taps former Indiana Sen. Donnelly as ambassador to Vatican Republicans may regret restricting reproductive rights MORE (Ind.). Every Republican present in the chamber also voted to end debate.
Three Democrats voted against ending debate even though they support constructing the pipeline itself: Sens. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Manchin, Sanders in budget feud; Biden still upbeat Democratic frustration with Sinema rises Which proposals will survive in the Democrats' spending plan? MORE (Mont.), Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseySenate Democrats call for diversity among new Federal Reserve Bank presidents Manchin, Sanders to seek deal on Biden agenda Democrats struggle to gain steam on Biden spending plan MORE (Pa.) and Tom Caper (Del.).
Schumer wouldn't say how many more amendment votes Democrats would like to see. More than 150 amendments have been filed to the Keystone bill.
Ahead of Monday's vote, McConnell laughed at Democrats for wanting more amendments, arguing they have had more opportunities to add measures to the underlying bill than Republicans had all of last year.
"We’ve had a lot of floor discussion. We’ve considered Democrat and Republican amendments," McConnell said Monday.
The failed vote comes after McConnell tabled five Democratic amendments during a marathon midnight session last week, drawing criticism from Democrats who accused him of prematurely ending debate.
Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidHarry Reid calls on Democrats to plow forward on immigration Democrats brace for tough election year in Nevada The Memo: Biden's horizon is clouded by doubt MORE (D-Nev.) chided McConnell on Twitter Monday evening.
"I've never seen debate shut down as aggressively as when Sen. McConnell refused to allow Dems to debate their own amendments for just 1 min.," Reid tweeted. "…and that's saying something."
McConnell spokesman Don Stewart asked why it made sense for Democrats to support a Keystone bill last November with no amendment or debate allowed but vote to filibuster a bill that has been debated for three weeks with votes on 24 amendments.
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